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Fertility Loans – 6 Important Things to Consider

One way to pay for fertility treatments when you can’t afford IVF (in vitro fertilization) is by borrowing money. If fertility loans sound appealing to you, do your homework first.

You may be wondering how to get pregnant when you can’t afford IVF. My husband and I were in the same boat – it was inconceivable to come up with thousands of dollars for fertility treatments. We didn’t know about fertility loans, but even if we had, I don’t think we would’ve borrowed money to get pregnant.

Are you thinking about borrowing money so you can pay for fertility treatments? Do your research first – and read the fine print of both your loan contract and the information that the fertility treatment center gives you. The interest rates for fertility loans are extremely high, and the chances you’ll get pregnant through in vitro fertilization treatments are low. It’s very sad – I’m sorry if you’re disappointed. I know how you feel…but it’s important to know what the odds are, and what the interest rates on bank loans are.

6 Important Things to Consider About Fertility Financing

Ethical concerns. Some fertility doctors have financial ties to specific banks or other lenders, and those doctors market loans to their patients. I’m not saying that every doctor who suggests fertility financing to his or her patients is benefiting from the practice. I believe there are many doctors who sincerely want to help their patients to get pregnant – and of course they can’t provide free fertility treatments! Recently, I read a report called Banking on Infertility from The Hastings Center that encouraged people to be aware of the possible relationship between fertility doctors and banks who loan money to patients.

Fertility treatments are very expensive. The emergence of “fertility loans” is because fertility procedures such as in vitro fertilization, donor eggs, and surrogate parenting are extremely expensive. The cost of fertility treatments is the main obstacle to obtaining assisted reproduction in the United States and Canada. Many couples – like you and me – don’t have health insurance coverage that pays for fertility treatments. That’s why more couples are borrowing money to pay for fertility treatments. However, fertility loans do not guarantee babies.

You’re in a vulnerable position. The author of the Banking on Infertility report, Alisa Von Hagel, an assistant professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin-Superior, says that some doctors facilitate the process of applying for fertility loans. “In facilitating the process to obtain credit and, in some instances, benefiting financially through equity ownership in private lending firms, participating physicians declare this a ‘win-win situation’ with no clear conflict of interest.” But this is NOT a win-win situation because you’re a patient who really wants to get pregnant. The doctor in is a position of power, and may be encouraging fertility financing for his or her own reasons.

Fertility treatments fail more often than they succeed. If you’re disappointed and anxious because you can’t get pregnant, think about how you’ll feel if you’ve taken a loan for tens of thousands of dollars…and you still can’t conceive! Fertility loans seem like a good idea when all you want is a baby, but they may create more problems than they solve.

financing fertility

“Fertility Loans” image via pixabay, CC license

You may not get all the information about the fertility loan. There is no law or regulation that assures you’ll receive complete information about your fertility financing. Further, physicians and clinics are not required to disclose their financial ties to lenders. “For individuals or couples willing to do whatever it takes to produce a child, the availability and promotion of these loans may encourage interventions that hold little chance at success, exacerbating the anguish of infertility,” writes Von Hagel.

Fertility loans weaken our trust in fertility doctors. This marketing of fertility loans isn’t just an ethical problem in the healthcare field, it also weakens patients’ trust in fertility specialists. Von Hagel says the consequences of doctors marketing fertility loans are unknown, but I think it’s important for you to think carefully before you borrow money to pay for fertility treatments. It might be better to save money for fertility treatments than apply for fertility financing – if you have the time and patience.

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What do you think about fertility loans? I welcome your comments below.

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